Samantha Furmanis kindly contacted us to pass on this wonderful photo of No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, which includes her Father, Leading Aircraftman Albert Edward “Jerry” Hart, standing three rows behind Arthur Vere Harvey, the Squadron’s Commanding Officer, who is seated in the very centre of the photo.
Jerry joined the Auxiliary Air Force on 24th August, 1939, so the photo was probably taken sometime during the Autumn of that year, before the Squadron took their Gloster Gladiators out to France. Jerry served as a Flight Mechanic Airframes, but we know little else about his time with 615 Squadron, except that his Service and Release book states that he didn’t serve overseas – it is possible that, like LAC Stan Ford, he might have missed the Battle of France because he was on a training course, and may have been transferred to another unit before the Squadron went to India and Burma.
Jerry was discharged on 28th October, 1945, at No.102 Personnel Dispersal Centre, Cardington, where he was noted to be of “very good” character and “superior” proficiency:
A reliable worker who is capable of motor car maintenance.
It seems that Hart returned to the Auxiliary Air Force post-war and came back to Kenley as a member of No.661 Air Observation Post Squadron. They were equipped with Austers and Tiger Moths to support the Army across South London and Surrey. When the Squadron was disbanded in March 1957, Jerry became a vehicle mechanic in the Army Reserve (R.E.M.E. – Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers).
Samantha says that Jerry was very attached to his life in the RAF and was proud to have served with 615 Squadron.
You can see his Service and Release Book and Discharge letter here.